Page 26 - Discover Magazine 2019
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The south overlook provides a view of
a hand dug 40-foot cut, excavated for the old Big Four Railroad before the Big Four Bridge was built.
At the edge of Tawawa Park sits the Sidney Water Park, a favorite summer gathering spot for residents of all ages. Fully staffed with lifeguards, the pool has three diving boards, a speed slide and a spiral slide for additional water fun in the bright sunshine.
Within walking distance of Tawawa Park are a number of fields for baseball, softball, and soccer, including four softball diamonds and the Landrum soccer fields that make up the Flanagan Sports Complex, and the seven baseball diamonds in Custenborder Park. A total of 16 miles of dual use and nature trails are featured within the Sidney parks system for year-round enjoyment and fitness.
Proving that recreation is not just for the young, the Parks and Recreation Department also maintains the Sidney- Shelby County Senior Citizens Center
at the Monarch Community Center. The Center has 1,003 members aged 50 and older who gather often for cards, bingo, lunch, exercise classes, ping-pong, pickleball, Wii games, shuffleboard, and special programs.
Not every county in Ohio has its own state park, but Shelby County has Lake Loramie State Park, located to the
north of Sidney near the village of Fort Loramie. The park is home to a 1,600- acre lake and 30 miles of shoreline. Lake Loramie is perfect for boating and fishing and visitors can choose one of 167 sites for overnight camping. There is a boat launch, a designated swimming area in the lake for those who wish to enjoy the water, and bicycles to rent for exploring the park and nearby village.
Fishing is a popular pastime at Lake Loramie, and also at nearby Grand Lake St. Marys and Indian Lake, as well as
the Great Miami River, Tawawa Park, and Lockington Dam. Busch Family Fish Farm and Pay Lakes near Botkins caters to children and families, and is
a gathering spot for family reunions, church groups, and private parties. Fishing there is by appointment only and
a license is not required.
On Friday nights in June and July, the Sidney Civic Band performs under
the shade trees of the Shelby County court square. The modern era of this band began in 1977, but the history of a town band in Sidney dates back to Civil War years. Other outdoor musical performances can be heard throughout the summer in the communities of Jackson Center, Botkins, and Anna.
One of the most anticipated events of the summer for fans of country music is Country Concert, held in early July at Hickory Hill Lakes near Fort Loramie. Since its beginnings in 1981, over
350 artists have played at this three-
day outdoor event and the lineup has included some of the biggest names
in country music. In addition to main stage and saloon performances, concert goers can participate in karaoke, bull riding, and even a rock-climbing wall. A number of tents on the grounds provide refreshments and souvenirs, and camping hook-ups are available for the weekend. The 2019 Country Concert will be the 39th annual event and headliners will include Kid Rock, Kip Moore, Aaron Lewis, Carly Pearce, Chris Stapleton, Gary Allen, Granger Smith, Ashley McBryde, Dylan Scott, Roots and Boots, Dustin Lynch, and Thomas Rhett.
Shelby County Youth Soccer is a club program that involves teams for both boys and girls in seven age group levels. Besides active spring and fall seasons,
the SCYSA sponsors the annual Bensar Mayfest Soccer Classic. The two-day tournament draws teams of boys and girls ages U9 to U14 from all parts of Ohio and several neighboring states. The dates for the 24th annual event are May 4-5, 2019.
Started in the 1930’s for young men ages 18-24 before there was a YMCA
in Sidney, IUTIS (which stands for In Unity There is Strength) has evolved into a softball league for boys, ages 5-17. The program is designed to develop coordination and sportsmanship, and
the ambitious summer schedule involves ten teams divided into three leagues. The Sidney Electric Company sponsors a similar softball program for girls.
Sidney Amateur Baseball involves youth, ages 5-13, in T-ball, G-ball, D-ball, and C-ball leagues throughout the spring and summer. Sidney Youth Football for fifth and sixth graders is now in its 29th year.
Running enthusiasts of all ages can find a number of 5K events throughout the year, organized as the Shelby County 5K Tour. Many of the events are held
in conjunction with area festivals such
as the Botkins Carousel Crawl. Several, such as the Area Cares 5K, the Break Away 5K, and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Duck Run 5K, take runners through beautiful Tawawa Park. Other events are held in Anna, Jackson Center, Fort Loramie, Houston, and Russia. To encourage participation in multiple races, runners receive prizes based on how many races they enter.
Shelby Oaks Golf Course in north Sidney has 27 holes of championship golf, a driving range, an indoor practice facility, and a pro shop. Golfers also find that the hilly 9-hole course at the Moose Lodge in Sidney provides a unique challenge. The 18-hole course at the Arrowhead Golf Club, located just over the county line near Minster, is another popular spot for area golfers. It features a fully stocked pro shop, driving range, and an 18-hole layout sure to challenge all levels of play. For those interested in a country club membership, the Piqua Country Club just ten miles south
of Sidney provides the resources and amenities of a traditional club.
Shelby County residents can find plenty of year-round recreation at the Sidney- Shelby County YMCA. Focusing on health and fitness, the YMCA provides a wide range of exercise classes including aerobics, pilates, kickboxing, yoga, tai chi, X-TREME Fit, cardio drumming, Zumba, and spinning. The indoor heated pool is perfect for swim classes, water aerobics, and laps.
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